13

Rachel Weeping

Demetrius:  You talked to Peter, didn’t you?
What did you tell him about me?
Glycon:  I don’t discuss your affairs with anyone, sir.
You freed me and I am grateful.
Demetrius:  You must have told him something.
Glycon:  I asked him if one who’d killed
30 men in the arena, as I have,…
…could ever hope to sleep at night.

Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

 

 

Ally Bowin, national programs coordinator of Students for Life of America writes about her grief over her own abortion at the Washington Examiner:

 

 

This denial continues after an abortion is completed. Denial of grief because she doesn’t want to admit to herself there was actually a life lost. Post-abortive women will bury those thoughts with whatever they can. Data on post-abortive women demonstrate that substance abuse, depression, suicide, and a host of other problems often follow an abortion.

Due in part to well-funded marketing campaigns such as #AbortionPositive, it is common for post-abortive women to be silenced when heavy emotions arise or to have their pain covered with platitudes. I recall the nurses reassuring me with phrases like, “It’s only a 10-minute procedure,” and, “This will not affect your ability to have children later.” I remember telling myself: “Now I can be successful,” “Now I can finish college,” “Now I won’t have the burden of another life to look after.”

I fought my emotions with these platitudes for a long time. I would immediately stop myself from crying anytime memories of that day would creep in, telling myself it’s not something to cry over; I’m better off. But I couldn’t cover it up for long. My fuse was short and I was quick to anger and that anger went to rage. I remember having a couple of panic attacks one weekend because I couldn’t find any friends to go out to the Dallas nightlife and drink with me. I couldn’t handle being alone; it left room for me to think, to feel, to remember.

When I first sought counseling, it was not as helpful as it could have been, because we never once dove into my abortion being the cause of my anxiety, anger, or depression. Yet Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a common problem among post-abortive women. I had vivid flashbacks, memories of the day of my abortion replayed for years, at any given moment. Still to this day, six years later, I can tell you the color of the wallpaper in the clinic, the color of the chairs, even the color of the nurse’s scrubs.

Last year, I had the gift of receiving loving, compassionate post-abortive healing. Post-abortive healing was probably the hardest 12 weeks I’ve had to endure in my 27 years. But, compared to a lifetime of suppressed grief and heartache, I would go through it many, many more times. I learned that feeling intense pain post-abortion is normal, feeling regret is normal. And that there is hope past that regret; there is love on the other side of that pain.

To the people who want to deny the pain and trauma of abortion for women, I ask: Why is it acceptable for women to grieve a miscarriage, but not an abortion? Wouldn’t the primal grief of losing a child be all the more devastating if the woman played a role in her loss? The facts certainly seem to suggest that many women feel unbearable grief after their abortion. If it truly had no effect psychologically, why does the suicide rate increase for women after they’ve had an abortion?

Even after going through post-abortive recovery more than a year ago, I still fight the demons of guilt and regret daily. Yet finding post-abortion recovery changed me for the better — giving me peace and the chance to feel pure joy again.

To post-abortive women, I say this: Don’t feel pressured to see your abortion as positive. There are people out there to listen to your story. There are people out there to hear about your grief. Let them in and let them help.

 

Go here to read the rest.  A funny thing about good and evil is that we can expend quite a bit of energy to claim that something evil is really good.  The one person we usually are unable to convince by such mendacity is ourselves.

6

God, Death and Faith

 

Grief and Hope

Kyle Cupp has a heartrending piece up at The Daily Beast in which he discusses the death of his daughter and his subsequent loss of faith:

 

In the months following the death of our newborn daughter, I had remained steadfast in my faith, devout and prayerful. I had not for years imagined God primarily as a figure of power, like some cosmic orchestrator of all that is, so I did not feel inclined to blame God for our loss and our sorrow. I didn’t have an answer for it, but I didn’t look to God for an answer. I didn’t expect such a response. I let God be.

As time passed, however, my faith weakened. I lost the feeling of God’s presence and the impetus to pray, and perhaps as a consequence, the ideas I had of God began to make less and less sense to me. I lost clarity of what I believed, finally confessing to my wife late one evening that I couldn’t honestly say whether or not I still believed in God. This was not a confession that brought us peace. A cloud of unknowing separated me from the words of the creed I recited at Mass, and on that evening, sitting close to the love of my life, staring into her misty eyes, I feared that it would separate me from her as well. 

To make matters worse, I had no answers to give her. I couldn’t explain my lapse. I couldn’t point to any decisive event, something that had pushed me off the precipice. Instead, as we reflected back on the previous months and years, I felt as though once solid ground had changed into the wisps of a cloud without my having noticed, and only now did I realize that I was falling. If my broken heart was to blame, it has taken its bitter time, acting stealthily.

I hadn’t fallen into unbelief or atheism, exactly, but more of an agnosticism or skepticism about what I believed and whether I believed. I could no longer say what my faith, such as it was, meant in my life. I no longer had a sure sense of how the Christian story was true. I couldn’t answer where its myths ended and reality began. Occasionally I shot a few words of prayer in what I hoped was the direction of an unseen God, but I struggled and doubted even these simple practices of my faith. Neither Paul nor Kierkegaard were kidding when they wrote of fear and trembling. Continue Reading

16

Prayer in Time of Grief

 

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

 

Hattip to A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.  Since the death of my son Larry I have found this prayer by Father Robert Fox to be of comfort:

God of life and death, You have taken a beloved one from me.  My heart is very heavy.  I recall that Your Son, Jesus Christ, became man in all things except sin and that He groaned in sorrow at the death of His friend, Lazarus.  I unite my grief with Yours dear Jesus, as You stood at the tomb of Lazarus.

O Virgin Mother, you know what it was like losing your husband Joseph, and then your child.  dying suspended between earth and heaven, with a sword piercing your sweet soul.  To you do I come in sorrow, begging strength from your intercession, from you who fully understand what it is like to lose one so dear and close.

Share with me, dear Mother of God, the courage, the strong faith that you had in the future resurrection.  Even after Jesus came back to life and ascended into heaven, you knew you were to be left alone for many years before your own assumption into heaven. You comforted the Apostles as their Queen and Mother during those years. Grant comfort to me now as I sorrow in pain at the loss by the separation that has come as a result of the sin of our first parents and my own sins. Wipe away my tears with the merciful love of your Immaculate Heart as you unite me with my loved one through the grace of the Sacred Heart of your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen. Continue Reading